By Randall Hanifen
Contributor, EDM Digest
As a small to mid-size business owner, you are likely to need someone to help guide the development and implementation of your company’s continuity plan in the event of a disaster.
A business continuity plan includes determining your company’s susceptibility to certain types of disasters, insurance coverage and data security. This broad scope makes it imperative that you hire someone who collaborates with others and has a solid background in emergency and disaster recovery.
Many business owners assume that if they can access their documents and have a backup of their files, they have business continuity. In some cases, that might be true. If you were a psychologist who only provided consultations on the suitability of prospective employees, data recovery might be the only requirement. But other types of businesses would have more complex continuity needs.
When Hiring, Seek Experience But Don’t Expect Someone to Know Everything
If your prospective continuity planner tells you that he knows every aspect of your business right away, you should be wary of him. For example, if you own a chemical or pharmaceutical company, your continuity plan would be complex. You would need an extensive analysis that ranges from understanding hazardous chemicals and their behavior down to supply chains and specialty equipment replacement.
Beyond seeking an adviser with an academic background related to business continuity, you should first look for someone who has experience preferably in emergency management or emergency services. You want someone who can turn template plans and programs into a successful operation.
Second, when you test and update your plan, you will have the added benefits of someone who has practical experience in enacting that type of plan. He or she can more accurately predict what situations could arise during an emergency or disaster.
Finally, your adviser should be outstanding at soliciting input from your employees. No two businesses are identical. Each company has nuances and intricacies that must be included as part of the overall plan. Your employees will know these nuances and intricacies best and can often suggest practical solutions based on their perspectives.
As a small business owner, your decisions determine the success of your enterprise. Deciding who will be your continuity plan adviser is no different.
Be sure to take the time to investigate your best candidates. Make sure the one you choose is an effective leader and also provides the needed input based on his or her emergency and disaster management experience.